It’s not surprising that January is considered to be the most depressing month of the year. One too many mince pies at Christmas caused us to gain a few pounds, and our New Year’s resolutions are already long forgotten. Christmas is such a happy, joyful time surrounded by the 3 vital f’s: family, friends and food. So when that’s all over, is it any wonder that we’re left feeling a bit lost, not really knowing what to do with ourselves?
Living somewhere like England which is at its dreariest in January, the post-Christmas blues and the muffin tops above our waistbands are heightened even more by the bitter cold and dark nights beginning at 4pm. All of these factors combined surely can’t be great for our mental health, which is why it’s vital to dedicate January to making ourselves feel better in the midst of the grey skies.
Here are 21 ways you can do just that.
- Invest in some lavender oil, pour it into a hot bath and relax with a good book until you look like a shrivelled prune.
- Improve your diet in subtle ways. Switch milk chocolate to dark, substitute herbal tea for regular, and eat less processed foods.
- Wrap up warm and go for a brisk morning walk.
- Find a new hobby; join that society at uni you’ve always wanted to, or take advantage of the free yoga classes at the gym.
- At the end of each day, pour your worries, thoughts and feelings into a page of your diary.
- Spend your Christmas money on some good face masks and pamper your skin.
- Pay your grandma a visit.
- Treat yourself to a movie night. Order a Domino’s, pick up some popcorn, and watch your favourite on Netflix.
- Take advantage of the deals on Groupon and book yourself in for a massage.
- Invite your best mate over and have a natter over a bottle of wine, or three.
- Decorate your room with pretty postcards and fairy lights.
- Download a free meditation app and try it out before you go to sleep.
- Cook a challenging recipe with ingredients you love.
- Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in ages.
- Finally get round to going to the hairdresser’s to get your split ends chopped off.
- Donate your old clothes that you never wear to a local charity shop.
- Do that thing you’ve been putting off. Just do it.
- When you find yourself bored, go for a swim at the local pool.
- Dedicate a day to cleaning and tidying to make your space less cluttered.
- Give yourself a pedicure at home.
- Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. Make sure you get your 8 hours.
It doesn’t really take much to just spend a little extra time on yourself in your day-to-day life, and at this time of year, self-care is essential. I struggle with mental health issues myself, and I’ve found that a good diet, a tidy space and lots of pamper-time and exercise, as well as valuable time spent with friends and family, can work wonders when you’re feeling extra down in the dumps.
Thank fook it’s February in a few days, though.